ABC News' Tahman Bradley Reports: Speaking to a quiet, sparse crowd in an early morning appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday in Washington, D.C., Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., tried to prove he is a tough leader who is committed to America's interests at home and abroad.
A fervent supporter of the Iraq war, Hunter told the conference that he presented Defense Secretary Robert Gates with a plan to rotate American troops out of Iraq and lashed out at Democrats who favor ending the war.
Hunter bellowed (taking a cue from President Bush in taking the 'ic' out of 'Democratic'), "If the Democrat leadership in the United States House of Representatives wants to cut off reinforcements or cut off supplies for our troops in need on the battlefield, our troops will never forgive them and the American people will never forgive them."
Hoping to show strong resolve in the global war on terror, the Congressman, whose son is a Marine and serves in Iraq, continued, "There can be no debate about the fact that it is in our interest to expand freedom around the world."
Hunter talked about getting tough on trade, arguing that China "cheats", using tactics to devalue the American economy. Evoking the words of President Ronald Reagan Hunters said he will "trust but verify," what foreign governments are doing.
The 26-year veteran of Congress made it known that, if elected president, he will not appoint judges who support abortion.
"If any judicial candidate who comes before me can look at a sonogram of an unborn child and not see a valuable human life, then I will not appoint that candidate," Hunter said to a round of applause.
Hunter, who strongly opposes "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, spoke at length about his work to build the "double fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border. He said it is cheaper to build fencing to keep immigrants out than it is to keep them in the nation's prison system.